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Industry News

Published on July 10th, 2018 | by The GC Team

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Big-screen TVs help lift June retail sales

Demand for beer, barbeques and big-screen TVs helped to drive an increase in retail sales in June as the nation basked in stupefying temperatures and the blush of World Cup fever.

UK retail sales increased 1.1% on a like-for-like basis compared to 1.2% in the same month last year. Total sales rose 2.3% against an increase of 2.0% in June 2017.

Although above the 3-month and 12-month averages of 1.2% and 1.5% respectively, BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson said the performance was “not sensational”.  Beer, barbeques and big TVs may have lifted sales, but spending on many other items fell.

“The reality is that sales don’t grow on the feel-good factor alone,” said Dickinson.

“With household incomes still barely growing faster than inflation, conditions for consumers and retailers remain extremely tough. And things could get tougher. Once the euphoria of sporting success subsides; without a deal on Brexit, shoppers face the prospect of significant price increases and shortages of everyday goods.

“Even if England do go all the way, households may have little to celebrate come next April.”

Paul Martin, Head of Retail at KPMG, said June’s results turned out to be less buoyant than hoped for after May’s positive performance.

“Sales growth remained in positive territory for the second month running at 2.3%, but as the recent financials of key players highlights, sales growth and profitability don’t always go hand-in-hand,” Martin commented.

“The summer sunshine, Wimbledon and the ongoing World Cup provide a strong foundation for growth in July, but retailers need to ensure that sales translate into profit. With the structural changes the sector is experiencing, as well as increased costs, this is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve.”

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